Brown expects NBA fine

Updated: February 11, 2009, 9:11 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Mike Brown hasn't heard from the NBA, and Cleveland's coach isn't complaining.

Brown expects to be fined by commissioner David Stern for his postgame rant about the officiating in the final seconds of the Cavaliers' 96-95 loss at Indiana on Tuesday. However, by tipoff on Wednesday night, the league had yet to complete a review of Brown's comments or announce any punishment

Cleveland All-Star forward LeBron James was whistled for a questionable foul against Danny Granger in the last second by referee Joey Crawford as the Pacers held off the Cavaliers, who had a similar close call go their way when Granger was called for bumping James on an alley oop with 0.8 seconds left.

After reviewing the last play in the locker room, Brown went into a tirade.

"That last call is the worst call that I have ever been a part of," Brown said. "I cannot imagine another worse call than that. It was an awful call and for him to take away a basketball game from a team with 0.4 seconds on the clock is irresponsible."

A much mellower Brown said before Wednesday night's game against Phoenix that he has not yet been punished and that he has no regrets about voicing his opinion.

"I said what I had to say and the NBA needs to do what it needs to do," Brown said. "I just said what I said and saw what I saw."

Last week, the league docked Boston coach Doc Rivers $15,000 for criticizing the officiating in the Celtics' overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the past, Brown has been careful not to protest too vehemently about calls against his team and particularly against James for fear of getting a reputation as a whiner. But he was so outraged by what he felt was an injustice against his star in the closing seconds in Indianapolis that he couldn't help himself.

"If I see something and I believe in something I may speak up during the game, but it's not anything where I'm trying to say, 'I've got to defend my team or defend LeBron," Brown said. "But I need to voice my opinion at times and I don't want to affect our team in a negative way."

Brown is adamant about the Cavs being a "no-excuse team," and he understands that begins with him.

"If I'm asking our guys not to let injuries or officiating or scheduling or travel bother them, then I have to lead by example," he said. "I'm human just like everybody else. There are going to be times when I go off like I did in Washington, and there are going to be times where I can control myself like the time in Utah when LeBron got whacked across the face. I will try to be that way more than the other way because I don't want to hurt our team."

James, too, has had to learn when to plead his case to referees and when stay quiet.

"It's a fine line," he said. "Sometimes you may be right and sometimes you may be wrong. You have to know the time of the game and if it is the right situation to voice your opinion. You also have to know what refs you are dealing with, some you can talk to a lot better than you can with others."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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